The astonishing discovery of a horde of works of art that had been forcibly taken and sold by the Nazis before and during World War II, happened while I was researching for The Carlswick Affair in 2013. The discovery at the home of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of a Nazi art dealer and collector, once again highlighted how many items still remain unaccounted for today. Around 1,500 works, including pieces by Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne and Otto Dix were discovered by tax inspectors in Gurlitt's two houses.
Now, two exhibitions of these works are opening, one in Germany and one in Switzerland. It will be the first time that many of these items have been seen in public for more than 70 years. The exhibition in Bern will look at the Nazi 'degenerate art' purge in the late 1930s which saw the confiscation of many art treasures from public galleries in Germany, some which were sold overseas to raise funds for the Nazi war machine, but many were destroyed. The exhibition in Germany will focus on looted art, that which was forcibly taken from many Jewish families and the galleries of the countries which the Nazis invaded.
Stephanie (and I) would love to visit both of these exhibitions!